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      Collagen Cross-Linking: Current Status and Future Directions

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      Journal of Ophthalmology
      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Collagen cross-linking (CXL) using UVA light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) was introduced as a clinical application to stabilize the cornea by inducing cross-links within and between collagen fibers. CXL has been investigated extensively and has been shown clinically to arrest the progression of keratoconic or post-LASIK ectasia. With its minimal cost, simplicity, and proven positive clinical outcome, CXL can be regarded as a useful approach to reduce the number of penetrating keratoplasties performed. Small case series have also indicated that CXL is beneficial in corneal edema by reducing stromal swelling behavior and in keratitis by inhibiting pathogen growth. Despite these encouraging results, CXL remains a relatively new method that is potentially associated with complications. Aspects such as side effects and recurrence rates have still to be elucidated. In light of the growing interest in CXL, our paper summarizes present knowledge about this promising approach. We have intentionally endeavored to include the more relevant studies from the recent literature to provide an overview of the current status of CXL.

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          Riboflavin/ultraviolet-a–induced collagen crosslinking for the treatment of keratoconus

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            Stress-strain measurements of human and porcine corneas after riboflavin-ultraviolet-A-induced cross-linking.

            To evaluate the biomechanical effect of combined riboflavin-ultraviolet A (UVA) treatment on porcine and human corneas. Department of Ophthalmology, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany. Corneal strips from 5 human enucleated eyes and 20 porcine cadaver corneas were treated with the photosensitizer riboflavin and irradiated with 2 double UVA diodes (370 nm, irradiance = 3 mW/cm2) for 30 minutes. After cross-linking, static stress-strain measurements of the treated and untreated corneas were performed using a microcomputer-controlled biomaterial tester with a prestress of 5 x 10(3) Pa. There was a significant increase in corneal rigidity after cross-linking, indicated by a rise in stress in treated porcine corneas (by 71.9%) and human corneas (by 328.9%) and in Young's modulus by the factor 1.8 in porcine corneas and 4.5 in human corneas. The mean central corneal thickness was 850 microm +/- 70 (SD) in porcine corneas and 550 +/- 40 microm in human corneas. Riboflavin-UVA-induced collagen cross-linking led to an increase in mechanical rigidity in porcine corneas and an even greater increase in human corneas. As collagen cross-linking is maximal in the anterior 300 microm of the cornea, the greater stiffening effect in human corneas can be explained by the relatively larger portion of the cornea being cross-linked in the overall thinner human cornea.
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              Long-term results of riboflavin ultraviolet a corneal collagen cross-linking for keratoconus in Italy: the Siena eye cross study.

              To report the long-term results of 44 keratoconic eyes treated by combined riboflavin ultraviolet A collagen cross-linking in the first Italian open, nonrandomized phase II clinical trial, the Siena Eye Cross Study. Perspective, nonrandomized, open trial. After Siena University Institutional Review Board approval, from September 2004 through September 2008, 363 eyes with progressive keratoconus were treated with riboflavin ultraviolet A collagen cross-linking. Forty-four eyes with a minimum follow-up of 48 months (mean, 52.4 months; range, 48 to 60 months) were evaluated before and after surgery. Examinations comprised uncorrected visual acuity, best spectacle-corrected visual acuity, spherical spectacle-corrected visual acuity, endothelial cells count (I Konan, Non Con Robo; Konan Medical, Inc., Hyogo, Japan), optical (Visante OCT; Zeiss, Jena, Germany) and ultrasound (DGH; Pachette, Exton, Pennsylvania, USA) pachymetry, corneal topography and surface aberrometry (CSO EyeTop, Florence, Italy), tomography (Orbscan IIz; Bausch & Lomb Inc., Rochester, New York, USA), posterior segment optical coherence tomography (Stratus OCT; Zeiss, Jena, Germany), and in vivo confocal microscopy (HRT II; Heidelberg Engineering, Rostock, Germany). Keratoconus stability was detected in 44 eyes after 48 months of minimum follow-up; fellow eyes showed a mean progression of 1.5 diopters in more than 65% after 24 months, then were treated. The mean K value was reduced by a mean of 2 diopters, and coma aberration reduction with corneal symmetry improvement was observed in more than 85%. The mean best spectacle-corrected visual acuity improved by 1.9 Snellen lines, and the uncorrected visual acuity improved by 2.7 Snellen lines. The results of the Siena Eye Cross Study showed a long-term stability of keratoconus after cross-linking without relevant side effects. The uncorrected visual acuity and best spectacle-corrected visual acuity improvements were supported by clinical, topographic, and wavefront modifications induced by the treatment. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                J Ophthalmol
                Journal of Ophthalmology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                12 January 2012
                : 2012
                : 406850
                Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rostock, Doberaner Strasse 140, 18057 Rostock, Germany
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Sunil Shah

                Copyright © 2012 Marine Hovakimyan et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 31 March 2011
                : 2 November 2011
                : 20 November 2011
                Review Article

                Ophthalmology & Optometry
                Ophthalmology & Optometry


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